Winter signage at each trailhead in the Lois Creek trail system is intended to encourage users to be mindful and respectful of trails during the winter months when the potential for conflict increases between different types of trail users. This year we increased the amount of signage in Lois Creek Trails to help raise awareness about proper trail etiquette in winter. We also recognize the need to use social media and other electronic platforms to educate users about trail ethics.
As winter wanes and conditions start to warm, we should again remind ourselves of the importance of trail etiquette. Multiple user groups enjoy Lois Creek Trails, and FOLC is striving to manage the trail system so everyone has maximum enjoyment during the winter months. Here’s a quick reminder:
- It is appropriate to bike on trails packed by the SnowDog as well as on snowshoe trails, as long as trail integrity is not compromised
- Tires wider than 3” are recommended
- Snowshoers and walkers should stay on one side of the trail, and leave room for cross-country skiers on the other side
- Cross-country skiing is acceptable on all trails
- Please do not snowshoe on cross-country ski tracks
- Running and walking is appropriate on packed trails, as long as trail integrity is not compromised
- If you are post-holing (sinking into the snow) on a path with a set track, it is good etiquette to turn around and retrace your steps
Friends of Lois Creek would like to thank the volunteers who helped deal with the Jan. 13 wind storm that played havoc with trails in Lois Creek. More than 200 trees came down, requiring a massive cleanup effort by volunteers who pitched in with chainsaws, the Kimberley Trails Society SnowDog, silky saws and pruning shears. Special thanks to Lindsay Park students who picked up debris near the Lindsay Park Entrance heading down the hill to Daisy Trail.
Special thanks also to Kimberley Trails Society volunteers who continue to do a fantastic job packing trails with their SnowDog machine for walkers and fat-tire bikers.
An established trail network, Lois Creek Trails are governed under the Forest Recreation Regulations and are managed under a volunteer partnership agreement with the Kimberley Trails Society, with the bulk of the work done by a core group of volunteers from Friends of Lois Creek. These volunteers put in countless hours advocating for trails to be recognized, keeping the trails open after storms and extreme wind events, fund raising to aid in the control of invasive plants, protecting the watershed, and putting in place awareness-raising educational programs.
The Kimberley Trails Society and Friends of Lois Creek work together to develop an annual operating plan for the trail network. In the last couple of years this has included a winter grooming plan intended to help avoid conflicts by disbursing winter trail users throughout the system. At the end of each winter, we monitor the grooming plan to determine its effectiveness. An operating plan (including grooming) is normally discussed at the Annual General Meeting each fall, although COVID-19 unfortunately pre-empted our 2020 AGM.
We have a true gem in Lois Creek Trails. Those of you who recognize the value of having the Lois Creek trail system in our backyard might want to consider becoming more involved. When things return to a new normal, please consider attending a KTS or FOLC meeting to gain a better understanding of how the trail system is managed. We welcome constructive feedback, and invite all interested trail users to volunteer alongside us.
For up-to-date information on trail conditions and routes please visit the Kimberley Winter Trail Conditions Page on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/209961760046677
or check out the groomed loop in Lois Creek on Trailforks: https://www.trailforks.com/route/lois-creek-winter-grooming-route-2021/
If you would like more information on Lois Creek Trails, or to sign up as a volunteer, please contact:
Blake Rawson, email@example.com (250)-427-5495
Rod Chapman, firstname.lastname@example.org (250)-427-5793